A bank-holiday weekend blitz to check anglers were fishing legally saw bailiffs net 14 people for offences on rivers and stillwaters across the North East.
A total of 14 anglers out of 389 checked were found to be in breach of rod licence and close season legislation and were reported for it.
Environment Agency (EA) fisheries enforcement officers visited 80 waters across the North East, from the Borders to North Yorkshire.
It brought the total number of first-time rod-licence checks to 650 during May, with 37 offence reports issued.
Kevin Summerson, EA fisheries technical specialist, said: “People who don’t buy a licence are not only cheating other anglers and the future of the sport, but they are running the risk of a criminal conviction and a fine. There’s no excuse.”
The EA acts on information received to target patrols to areas where illegal fishing is suspected. The EA works with the police and local angling clubs, supported by the Angling Trust, to gather intelligence.
Income from rod-licence sales is used to fund EA work to protect/improve fish stocks and fisheries, improve facilities for anglers, tackle illegal fishing and work with partners to encourage people to try fishing.
To buy a rod licence, visit www.gov.uk/fishing-licences
To report illegal fishing, call 0800 807060.